When a dog jumps up at strangers and other dogs, it is often classified as their way of greeting. Jumping is a normal dog behaviour, so most dogs will jump up on people unless they are trained not to do so. Dogs who are not trained to jump up will readily put their paws on people, not because they’re naughty or aggressive dogs, but because they’re unaware that there are other ways to greet people.
And as a dog owner, you’ll often appreciate your dog’s excitement as soon as you enter the door. In fact, many of us will positively encourage our dogs to jump and get excited when we return home. It’s our way of knowing how much our dogs love us and miss’s us!
EMBARRASSING WHEN YOUR DOG JUMPS AT STRANGERS
However, when a dog jumps up at strangers or visitors, this type of behaviour can, at times, be somewhat embarrassing. Especially if the person getting ‘the excited’, jumping up greeting isn’t comfortable around dogs. Moreover, this behaviour can become dangerous when exhibited in front of strangers or guests, especially if the guests are young children or an older person who may be knocked over and injured. In fact, anyone who is not expecting such an exuberant welcome!
Fortunately, with a load full of patience, you can easily solve this problem by teaching your dog and yourself a few behavioural training essentials.
The same can be said about a dog who is over-friendly or downright aggressive when meeting other dogs. We will discuss this problem later in this article and how to deal with this unwanted behaviour.
THE REASONS WHY DOGS JUMP UP AT STRANGERS
There are many reasons a dog misbehaves in front of new people. One is that he is unaware that he is misbehaving, having got the wrong signals from his owner as they came home. His jumping and excitement were rewarded with a great deal of attention! Another fact may be that he’s not had any training. But if a dog is normally even-tempered and well-behaved, the chances are his jumping up is simply a way of receiving the visitor.
Poor socialization is another reason why dogs jump up at strangers, often accompanied by lunging and barking. Dogs who have little or no exposure to people and various situations will often react by jumping up. This situation will often develop because the dog’s owner is embarrassed at their pet’s behaviour. Because of the embarrassment of their dog jumping at other dogs and people when out for a walk, the owner isolates them.
A dog who is fearful of a situation he is not encountered before, or maybe had a bad experience with, will express his discomfort by barking or ‘attacking’ the newcomers.
YOUR DOG JUMPS UP AT STRANGERS FOR ATTENTION
Dogs often jump up at strangers and visitors to get attention. Especially if it is something that works for them in getting attention and affection from you, he’ll start to think all humans will appreciate an over-exuberant dog jumping up at them. But, with some positive reinforcement training (reward and praise), you will encourage your dog to break free of this habit. He will soon understand that he doesn’t need to jump and lunge to get attention.
PENT UP ENERGY
A reason your dog jumps up at strangers and visitors and you when you return home because of pent up energy, boredom. He’s demonstrating his sheer relief from loneliness. It’s not realistic to expect a dog, who is left alone for hours and is not exercised enough to act with good manners.
In most cases, the dog doesn’t mean any harm and are playfully expressing their excitement to have guests over. But regardless of the dog’s intention, it is important that you train your dog to behave in front of guests and even after they leave! dog jumps up at strangers
HERE ARE SOME TIPS TO HELP YOU
Remain Calm as much as Possible
Dogs have a great sense and can smell your emotional state better than anyone else. They can also adapt your feelings as their own and exhibit in the same manner.
For example, you are nervous about how your dog will behave in front of an important visitor who is visiting for the first time. Naturally, the mysterious canine mind will pick up on your agitation and become either hostile or overly friendly towards your guest.
In another scenario, you may become frustrated or angry at the dog for misbehaving with the guest. But remember, this will do more harm than good. Your pet could become even more uncontrollable if he senses your agitation and stress.
Instead, remain calm. Avoid pulling the dog away from the guests, and never punish or scold by saying ‘bad dog’ etc. even if your dog is getting out of control. Instead, ignore the behaviour as much as possible so as not to put the pet into the limelight, if not, distract him with his favourite toy.
- Make Use of Commands
Obedience training comes in handy when you want to keep your pet calm in front of strangers. If your dog has exceeded the basic ‘sit,’ ‘come,’ and ‘stay’ command then you are in luck and can easily get your dog to pay attention to you, rather than the guest.
On the other hand, don’t worry if you haven’t been able to have your puppy practice these commands. It is never too late to start training your dog so practice these commands without visitors. Offer treats and lots of praises for following your commands and don’t scold if he doesn’t follow. Instead, please continue to practice until he gets the hang of it.
- Practice with others
Once you are confident about your dog’s ability to obey your commands, have a couple of friends or family over to test-drive his skills.
Analyze how he behaves at first sight of guests. Does he jump up? Then say your command words to see if it stops. If it does, congratulations! You have achieved a milestone in your pet’s life. Pat yourself on the back and give your well-behaved pet some treats to enjoy his achievement.
But don’t let training stop at this point. Continue with the obedience training and have guests over now and then to ensure your dog masters the manners.
However, when your dog’s jumping up persists as an uncontrolled problem, follow the other methods in this guide. dog jumps up at strangers
- Create a Distraction
Give your dog a favourite toy or a treat to distract him from the guest. Keep aside something new that may intrigue the pet and show him when he is unruly with the behaviour.
You can also use a set of keys and shake it in front of the dog to startle him and stop your dog jumping up at strangers. Once you get his attention, command him to sit in the corner or go outside and play. This may give your guest some time to settle down and the dog to set his attention to something else.
- Use Crate Training
Crate training is another method that allows the dog to become calm before he is invited to meet the visitor. Of course, this is not a punishment for your pet. Instead, take it as a ‘timeout’ period.
- Put your pet inside a crate ‘before’ the guest arrives.
- Give your guest some time to settle down.
- Allow the dog to come outside the crate and greet the visitor.
- If he behaves or goes towards his own activity, let him remain outside.
- Otherwise, put him back inside the crate until your guest leaves.
And remember to give your dog some treats and loads of praises if they behave appropriately with the guest.
- Remove the Pet
As a quick solution, remove the pet from the area when the guest arrives. For example, you can ask a family member to take him for a walk while the visitor stays or have your dog stay with a pet sitter or at pet care. But remember, this will not replace training and will only give you more time to work on the behavioural issue. This method is also helpful if the guest is somewhat fearful of pets, especially dogs.
Another remedy, like crate training, is to put a barrier or a gate to separate the dog from the front door. A foldable gate works great for small dogs that are unlikely to jump. However, if you have a large-sized dog, make sure to invest in something robust.
If all seems inconvenient, put your pet on a leash when you answer the door to prevent him from jumping up at visitors.
- Seek Help
Lastly, take your dog to a professional dog trainer if you are unable to control him when he sees newcomers. Speak to a professional dog trainer about how your dog jumps up at strangers. Ask him to conduct training sessions to help you out with the behaviour and suggest ways you can implement the same at home.
WHAT NOT TO DO IF YOUR DOG JUMPS UP AT STRANGERS:
In most common scenarios, the above tricks do work in keeping the dog calm when visitors come. But will require a lot of practice and a huge amount of patience on your part. However, during the training period, it’s pretty natural for the owners to become anxious and reciprocate the same behaviour in a human-friendly way. This includes:
- Pulling on the leash harshly or inappropriately.
- Scolding or punishing the dog
- Always keeping him in isolation during visits.
- Avoiding bringing him out in public in fear of embarrassment.
HOW TO STOP YOUR DOG JUMPING AT OTHER DOGS?
Do you avoid taking your dog to parks or anywhere near other dogs because of his behaviour? If yes, this could be part of his problem of pulling and jumping up at strangers and other dogs. Also, if he’s isolated from other dogs, again because of his habit of pulling, jumping, and barking, he may not be socialized enough to cope with the big bad world of strange dogs and people.
SOCIALIZING DOG TO DOG
First off, avoid the first response that occurs to many new dog owners, which is to stop moving. The second response is to tighten up your dog’s leash and/or pull him closer as the other dog passes. Dogs have an opposition reflex, which means that if you pull them one way, they will resist and pull back the other way. If the other dog appears friendly, ask the owner if you can bring your dog within sniffing distance. If the dogs are appearing to tolerate each other, allow them a few minutes of socializing before walking briskly away. Repeat this whenever you feel it is safe to do so.
Fear, pain, or any discomfort can often make your dog associate those feelings with the other dog. A dog who was just frustrated at first, because he was prevented from greeting may begin to warn off other dogs to avoid that feeling again. And if your dog is already worried, heavy restraint can make him feel extremely vulnerable. Dogs who feel like they can’t flee are more likely to fight.
Instead, at the first appearance of another dog, create distance from it without showing any panic. Then encourage your dog to do something he really loves to do with you.
The distance part is key.
Distance is pretty much inversely proportional to distraction. As the closer you are to something, the more likely it is to attract your dog’s attention. So, start moving proactively, before your dog really starts pulling, encouraging him to come along if need be, but remain. Keep going until you get to where you’re sure he’ll be able to respond to your cues. That’s where you can start his training.
PAYING ATTENTION TO LEARN NOT TO JUMP UP
Your dog is more likely to pay attention to you the closer you are to him, instead of any distractions. However, you’ll need to move closer to him, instead of moving him closer to you. In other words, don’t pull on the leash, you step slowly towards him, shortening the leash as you go.
Make sure to start to pre-train the type of behaviours you’d like your dog to exhibit each time he sees another dog. This will ensure greater compliance when faced with the problem, and you’ll never have to watch as your dog jumps up at strangers and other dogs, ever again.
The command ‘sit’ is often the first command taught, but it requires a bit of self-control, which may make some dogs feel vulnerable. A behaviour that requires some form of movement, such as turning toward the owner at the sound of his name, maybe better as it helps to create more space in the first place.
If you have a new puppy, start this training right away to ensure you and puppy have a lifetime of pleasant walks. If your dog already into the habit of pulling towards other dogs, you will need to start practising in quieter areas and less congested places. Once you feel your dog has progressed enough, it’ll be helpful to road-test his responses to a small group class to work on them within a controlled setting.
With consistency, the appearance of other dogs will become a preferred behaviour for your dog. In many cases, too, your need for distance will gradually decrease over time, making your outings more pleasurable.
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
Once your dog has learned the art of greeting, whether human or dog, ensure these habits remain consistent or else your dog may revert to its starting position.
Dogs that behave in front of guests are a delight around the home and a treasure to be proud of. As is a well-behaved dog when out walking. All it will take is some practice, patience, and consistency to ensure your dog plays well with others.
Dog Products that may help with your training.